A woman who went missing after a deluge of mud, rocks and other debris hit the Forest Falls community this week has been found dead, authorities said Friday.
Doris Jagiello, 62, was found around 3:15 p.m. Thursday near Valley of the Falls and Canyon Drives, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.
Her body was “buried under several feet of mud, rocks and rubble,” the department said.
Searchers found one of Jagiello’s dogs alive in her home, but her two other dogs remained missing Friday, sheriff’s Lieutenant Jeff Allison said.
Heavy rain hit parts of San Bernardino County on Monday. Some areas near the Apple and El Dorado burns area received more than 2 inches of rain in an hour as the remnants of Tropical Storm Kay moved past the Southern California coast.
Oak Glen and Forest Falls were hit by debris flows 10 to 12 feet thick in some areas, pushing boulders, rocks and trees into communities and onto roads.
“The powerful storm caused debris to flow through the natural drainages and creek beds in Forest Falls,” the Sheriff’s Department said. “As a large debris flow consisting of mud and extremely large boulders raged downhill, it engulfed Jagiello’s property and hit her home causing significant structural damage and dragging everything in its path.”
Debris flows are common when rain falls on recently burned areas.
“Southern California has a long history of flooding and has the highest risk of debris flows after a fire in the world,” said Jason Kean, a research hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey who studied the Montecito mudslides in 2018 that involved 23 people. died at The Times last year, when areas where the Ranch 2, Bobcat, Apple and El Dorado fires burned were at high risk of debris flows.
The standard amount of rain needed to start a debris flow after a moderate or extreme fire is usually about half an inch per hour, but some of these areas are so steep and unstable that it can only take two-tenths of an inch. take to see mud and rocks pour down, Kean said at the time.